Monday, 18 December 2017

The Liste Ethnographic Museum


 After our long but lovely day out in Padrón and Pontevedra, it was time for a Galician class excursion to somewhere slightly closer to home: the Liste Ethnographic Museum (Museo Etnográfico Liste) in our own Vigo.

 After morning classes on the University of Vigo's mountain campus, we headed down into the city on the bus. The Museum is quite central and has a nice garden with lots of greenery. I was looking forward to going inside and learning more about the history of the Galician people.

 In the doorway there was a special decorated May Day tree. These are popular in Galicia and can include fruit, flowers, eggshells, pine cones and other symbols of life and nature.

 Inside the Museum, we first encountered a room dedicated to textiles. The work was colourful and impressive, and we marvelled at some very intricate lace designs.

 We proceeded into a room showcasing the many trades that existed in Galicia in the past, from writer to farrier to candle-maker.

 We saw plenty of zocas - Galician shoes similar to clogs and usually made from birch-wood.

 We visited a room devoted to the history of producing light.

 Another room highlighted religion and faith. Hanging from the ceiling were casts that people would make of their injured or unhealthy body parts, in the hope that they would be healed.

 There were also examples of the little charms that pilgrims would often carry. Each of the different shapes has its own meaning, such as health, wealth or love.

 A small room was set up like an old apothecary, with all kinds of potions and powders.

 In the basement of the Museum there was a space dedicated to farming, with clothes and tools.

 We also met three of the trickster creatures that are often blamed for unfortunate things happening to people - for example, one may cause forgetfulness, another sleepiness.

 As we stepped back outside into the evening sunlight, I was very happy that we had come to the Museum. Not only does it have a huge amount of information and artefacts, but it presents them in a way that is genuinely engaging. Having a room devoted to each aspect of life really works.

 We were about to round off the day by walking to, and then spending some time in, the Parque de Castrelos. My bus often took me past the Park and I had noticed with interest that it had a maze. However, I had never actually been inside, so I was looking forward to our visit.

 Watch this space to find out what wonders the Parque had to offer us.

 Thanks for reading.

 Liz x

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